Leading 1 Game Experience
[This section goes step-by-step through a GameLife 1-2-3 training session (game experience). See a GameLife 1-2-3 lesson at the end of this document as you read through these steps and principles for training children.]
Playing the Game
This is a game – have fun! Read through the game instructions several times to become familiar with the game. Practice the game with some of the leaders or children in your village. The game is designed to allow the children to experience God’s truth (you can substitute in a different game just make sure the game relates to the Bible Discovery).
Ask the children about their week as they arrive
Welcome children by name and ask: “What was the highlight of your week?” Asking for their “highlight” allows for praise, prayer, and care.
Memorize Children’s Names
One of the best ways to show children you care about them is to memorize their names. Memorize the name of each child in your group, as children love to hear their name and a sincere compliment.
Vision Casting: Training Champions for Eternity
At the end of each game share something like: “Players it is fun to play games let’s continue the fun and discover how to become Champions for Eternity!”
Group Control in the Game
Quickly share the game instructions and begin playing. This is a time to play and have fun with the children. The tips below will help you and your team maintain good group control.
Divide and Control
Important: Separate ages into four groups: 3 and under (move to side with helper), 4-7 years (younger group), 8-12 years (older group), 13 and up (leader’s helpers).
If you have 100 children divide and control. It is very easily if you have helpers divide in 4 groups of 25 and easily control the children. If you do not have 4 adults, quickly recruit additional “coaches” by recruiting young adults or the most mature and oldest of the children you have on hand. We call our helpers “coaches.”
Divide into groups quickly, rather than counting all children. Quickly move to the first cluster of about 25 and say “You are with Coach Jose” and quickly repeat.
Guideline: Discipline not Punishment
Punishment is given for past behavior, creating an “us vs. them” mindset. Discipline focuses on future obedience, creating a “we are in this together” mindset. After clearly explaining the rules, share that if they disobey, you will have no other choice but to discipline them to help them mature and become a Champion for Eternity!
Important: A leader can be both an authority figure and a friend at the same time. If a leader is not passing out “Strikes” (see 3-Strike Rule below) the leader is not fulfilling his/her role as a leader, obviously not harsh, but leaders need to retain good positive control with large groups of children. Explain all the rules below the very first time with the children as soon as all the children gather. Repeat the rules quickly every week and as needed.
1, 2, Silence
This is a way to quickly get control and silence a group that is noisy. Call out “One” very loud and exaggerate the length of “OOOnnnnnne!” with arms outstretched and one finger up. Then, the leader puts up two of his/her fingers. Players then call back “Two.” Finally, the leader takes both hands across shoulders and moves them out like an umpire calling “safe.” Players are instructed to be totally quiet at the silence sign. Any player talking (or in fun calling out “3”) should be given a “Strike” (see 3-Strike Rule below). Have children sit down or take one knee if you need more control.
If a player disobeys or is disruptive, take these steps in order:
- Strike 1: This is just a verbal warning to the player.
- Strike 2: If a player continues to disobey or disrupt, he/she is given Strike 2.
At strike 2, the player is moved away from the other players for 2 minutes.
- Strike 3: If a player still disobeys or disrupt, he/she will receive Strike 3.
At Strike 3 the player is asked to sit out until they can behave, with the understanding of the importance of listening and respecting their leaders.
Important: Give out at least 10 “Strike 1’s” on the first day.
Children naturally will “push the boundaries” testing the leader’s integrity.
If a leader does not honor the integrity of the rule set,
the leader will hurt the integrity of the Bible Teaching.
Engine and Caboose
When moving children from one location to another location it is important to keep all the children on your team (group) together. Always count the children to make sure you have the same number when you reach your destination. Ask one child to act as the “engine” for your team and explain no child may walk ahead of the engine or they will receive a strike. Ask one child to act as the “caboose” for your team and explain no child may walk behind the caboose or they will receive a strike. Have fun and change the name of the “engine” and “caboose” to a different animal head and tail each week and have children walk like that animal.
Coaches should avoid all gathering together in the same spot. Coaches must spread out and stay close to all Players and maintain control of the Players. (Coaches that clump together are like chocolate chips in a cookie that are not spread out evenly.)